Mauricio Pochettino makes shock Eddie Howe claim ahead of Chelsea v Newcastle United

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Newcastle United will hope to increase the pressure on Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino when they visit Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he hopes to receive the support Eddie Howe has been shown during his time at Newcastle United as he aims to move on from a difficult period at Stamford Bridge.

The Magpies boss took charge at St James Park in November 2021 and his arrival heralded a turnaround in fortunes as he led United away from the Premier League relegation zone and into the safety of mid-table by the time a season of change on Tyneside came to an end. Howe’s first full campaign was also an overwhelming success as he led his side to their first major cup final since 1999 and into the Champions League for the first time in two decades as they beat Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool to a top four place.

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Although the current season has not yet lived up to those heights, Howe’s men have racked up memorable wins against the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Manchester United over the last six months. Another of those eye-catching results came in the first meeting with Chelsea as goals from Alexander Isak, Jamaal Lascelles, Joelinton and Anthony Gordon helped the Magpies to a 4-1 win at St James Park in November.

Although there has been some criticism of Howe during the season, it has not been to the level Pochettino has received on a number of occasions as he tried to revive what has been a disappointing season for Chelsea. Despite a significant spend in the transfer market, the Blues head into Monday’s meeting with Newcastle sat in eleventh place in the table - although they are still in the race for silverware as they face an FA Cup quarter-final home tie against Leicester City next weekend.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the former PSG and Spurs manager described Howe as ‘a fantastic coach’ and expressed his hope he will receive the same level of support the Magpies boss has received in recent months.

He said: “I am so happy to see they are supporting him like this because we are both in charge and want the best for our clubs. For me, Eddie is a fantastic coach and deserves big credit. I hope one day here they support me in the same way they support him because I am here, I am the coach of Chelsea and I want to win as much as our fans. I hope we have this support in the future.

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“Look, the other afternoon I was walking on the Kings Road. I had this cap on but the people knew me and were really friendly and lovely. At Brentford, yes, it was different and not like this but the people on the street, I can tell you, are very supportive and understand the situation. Of course, I also understand the same people, who were lovely to me and respectful, also criticise. Because in a stadium there’s passion. You want the team to score, win, play well and become frustrated if it doesn’t happen. You show your feelings. Our fans are normal. I am a coach. I understand the business. The first person they criticise is me.”

Chelsea are expected to have several absentees for Monday’s game as the likes of Christopher Nkunku, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Wesley Fofana are all expected to miss out. Pochettino is also awaiting news on the fitness of defensive duo Benoit Badiashile and Levi Colwill, as well as midfielders Conor Gallagher and Carney Chukwuemeka.

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